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Old 09-14-2019, 04:29 PM
johnmcd johnmcd is offline
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I'm planning an install for a new quad-band transceiver radio in my vehicle (it was a gift form the wife, so changing it isn't an option) and I'd like some advice on the cable I use to run to the antenna. My go-to cable in the past has always been RG-58, since it's easy to work with and has always worked well for me, but I've recently been reading more about RG-174. Since it's thinner it'll be easier to run through the roof channel and down the a-pillar, but I'm worried about signal loss and the fact it only has minimal shielding. The overall length of the run will be around 8'. The radio transmits on CB, 6M, 2M and 70cm, and yes, I know I'll have to swap antennas.

Does anyone have any experience in using RG-174 on vehicles?

Thanks
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:37 PM
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i'd use rg-8x or rg-58..
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:49 PM
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I would use what you have.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcd View Post
I'm planning an install for a new quad-band transceiver radio in my vehicle (it was a gift form the wife, so changing it isn't an option) and I'd like some advice on the cable I use to run to the antenna. My go-to cable in the past has always been RG-58, since it's easy to work with and has always worked well for me, but I've recently been reading more about RG-174. Since it's thinner it'll be easier to run through the roof channel and down the a-pillar, but I'm worried about signal loss and the fact it only has minimal shielding. The overall length of the run will be around 8'. The radio transmits on CB, 6M, 2M and 70cm, and yes, I know I'll have to swap antennas.

Does anyone have any experience in using RG-174 on vehicles?

Thanks
Yeah. I bought a 1/4 wave mag mount to hook up to my Yeasu VX-170. It's RG-174. It's only good for low power such as 5 watt HTs. 26 AWG center conductor.

It's tiny and doesn't get smashed when you close a hatch-back on it.

With only 8 feet, the line loss from RG-58 is negligible. That's what I have running to my 50watt mobile.

RG-58 uses 20 AWG solid where RG58x uses 15 AWG solid center conductor. Can handle more power with less loss.

If I was doing it again, I would go with the RG58x.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcd View Post
I'm planning an install for a new quad-band transceiver radio in my vehicle (it was a gift form the wife, so changing it isn't an option) and I'd like some advice on the cable I use to run to the antenna. My go-to cable in the past has always been RG-58, since it's easy to work with and has always worked well for me, but I've recently been reading more about RG-174. Since it's thinner it'll be easier to run through the roof channel and down the a-pillar, but I'm worried about signal loss and the fact it only has minimal shielding. The overall length of the run will be around 8'. The radio transmits on CB, 6M, 2M and 70cm, and yes, I know I'll have to swap antennas.

Does anyone have any experience in using RG-174 on vehicles?

Thanks
Depending upon your antenna mount, if you use NMO style, you can find some nice Motorola OEM NMO style mounts with white Teflon coax, good to 900 MHz, on the eBay. It is RG58 type cable and very durable. They stand up to heat and resist abrasion. You can easily solder because of the high temp. RG174 is very high loss and not durable at all. It will easily melt when soldering. The thicker Teflon cable can actually help during installation because you can push the free end down the a-pillar and door pillar without it bunching up.

Pay attention to your connectors. Dont skimp or use adaptors. You can lose a lot of signal there.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:53 AM
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I assume it transmits on 10M, 6M, 2M and 70cm. 8' is not that long a run, so you really don't have to worry about signal loss. Getting quality cable/connectors will be more important. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:29 AM
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Mine, CR-8900 on a trunk lip mount with 6 feet of RG-174. The radio is mounted in the trunk. The remote mounting kit it the key to keeping the coax run short.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:13 PM
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RG 174 is for tiny signals. it is for use inside a radio, or for low power Part 15 radios

for higher power levels it's like running a marathon breathing through a straw.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:37 PM
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RG 174 is for tiny signals. it is for use inside a radio, or for low power Part 15 radios

for higher power levels it's like running a marathon breathing through a straw.
Rated for:
976 watts at 1 MHZ
down to 108 watts at 1000 MHZ

At 70cm it is good for 120 watts with a loss of 19.1 db dB/100 feet.

Data sheet:
https://catalog.belden.com/techdata/...6_techdata.pdf

It is ideal? No. Will 10 feet of it in a mobile station cause a noticeable loss of performance? No.

Try running 5 miles in combat boots wearing a gas mask. BTDT.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:14 AM
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Try running 5 miles in combat boots wearing a gas mask. BTDT.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDH View Post
Rated for:
976 watts at 1 MHZ
down to 108 watts at 1000 MHZ

At 70cm it is good for 120 watts with a loss of 19.1 db dB/100 feet.

Data sheet:
https://catalog.belden.com/techdata/...6_techdata.pdf

It is ideal? No. Will 10 feet of it in a mobile station cause a noticeable loss of performance? No.

Try running 5 miles in combat boots wearing a gas mask. BTDT.
As you note, the loss (in dB) is independent of power. You are going to loose 1/3 of the power in 10’ at 440 MHz, regardless if it’s a 50 watt mobile or a 5 watt HT. I wouldnt consider 2 dB to be unnoticeable, but it can usually be tolerated.

At high power, a Lossy coax can become hot, and may damage the cable, particularly if the cable is pinched, or heated by solar radiation.

I’ve run LDF-4 close to its rated power (400 watts) at C band, and it was too hot to touch. It made a good dummy load. At VHF the cable has on .8 dB/100’.

ETA, RG174 is actually typically better shielded than RG-58. We use a lot of it to connect to satellite modems at L band.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by country_boy View Post
RG174 is actually typically better shielded than RG-58.
Thanks for reminding me. This is another reason why it is used in modern vehicles that are crammed full electronic devices leaking RF well up into the UHF ranges.

I gave up on RG58 long ago (thank you Radio Shack). If I need more power/lower loss in a mobile I'll go to RG8X or LMR 240 type cables.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDH View Post
Thanks for reminding me. This is another reason why it is used in modern vehicles that are crammed full electronic devices leaking RF well up into the UHF ranges.

I gave up on RG58 long ago (thank you Radio Shack). If I need more power/lower loss in a mobile I'll go to RG8X or LMR 240 type cables.
RG-223 is the high quality double shielded version of RG-58. But I doubt loss is lower. Often time, as quality is increased on small coax, loss is sacrificed for durability. LMR cables take the opposite track and minimize loss at the expense of flexibility and physical durability (environmental durability is excellent.). My limited experience says phase stability sucks- but we have demanding applications ( up to 40 lamdas)

It all depends on you needs. We install miles of LDF4, 5 and LMR-400, but there are still roles where RG-174, RG-214, LMR-240, Or FSJ-40 are superior. And RG-58 is often good enough for short ( ie vehicular) runs at 440 or lower.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcd View Post
I'm planning an install for a new quad-band transceiver radio in my vehicle (it was a gift form the wife, so changing it isn't an option) and I'd like some advice on the cable I use to run to the antenna. My go-to cable in the past has always been RG-58, since it's easy to work with and has always worked well for me, but I've recently been reading more about RG-174. Since it's thinner it'll be easier to run through the roof channel and down the a-pillar, but I'm worried about signal loss and the fact it only has minimal shielding. The overall length of the run will be around 8'. The radio transmits on CB, 6M, 2M and 70cm, and yes, I know I'll have to swap antennas.

Does anyone have any experience in using RG-174 on vehicles?

Thanks
RG-174 is great because it is small and therefore easier to install. It is lossy. As with all lossy coax, this becomes a more serious problem as the frequency goes up. At 70cm it's 0.2 dB a foot, so you're giving up 1.6 dB. To me, that's a lot.

http://rfelektronik.se/manuals/Datas...tion_Chart.pdf

https://catalog.belden.com/techdata/...6_techdata.pdf

It will handle the power OK and it will work fine for CB and 6m. I would use something else for 70 cm unless there is just no way to fit larger cable in the available space.

My approach is to use the largest coax I can get away with. I use RG-8X for mobile installations and RG-213 (or 3/8" heliax) for base stations.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:59 PM
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There's a handy calculator at https://www.qsl.net/co8tw/Coax_Calculator.htm. You can run various combinations of length and SWR, but (as others have mentioned), even with a 1/1 SWR, you're giving up 1.6 db of signal at 440 MHz with an 8 foot length of RG-174.

I prefer RG-58 for mobile use: SWR loses can eat your signal over short runs of RG-174. I've always thought of RG-174 as an "interstage" coax for use inside a cabinet or across a PCB, and not suitable for connecting rigs to antennas.

YMMV. HTH.

William Warren
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